Tag Archives: Matthew Ricchiazzi


9 Jun

Perhaps the “Tea Party Coalition” of 2 – 5 individuals could endorse a state senate candidate who is eligible to serve that district.

Or votes.

Or is registered to vote.

Or is remotely serious.

Or something.

Matthew Ricchiazzi : Ineligible for SD-60

9 Jun

The requirements to run for the state senate in New York are pretty clear. You need to be 18, have lived in the New York for at least 5 years (preferably not with your parents) and most importantly, you must have been a full time resident of the senate district you want to represent for the 12 months immediately before the election.

So, if someone wanted to run against Antoine Thompson in New York’s 60th Senate district, that person would have to have lived in that district since at least November 2, 2009.

Over the weekend, the Ostrowski/Coniglio faction of the local WNY tea party endorsed a handful of candidates for this years state elections. Among them was Matthew Ricchiazzi. You might remember him from such failed campaigns like last year’s Mayoral race and most recently, last month’s Buffalo School Board election.

His first two attempts at getting on a ballot having failed, Mr. Ricchiazzi is looking for a trifecta with his current run against Antoine Thompson.

WNYmedia has learned that Mr. Ricchiazzi could be considered ineligible to run for the New York State senate’s 60th district seat.

Ricchiazzi recently sent a “press release” out trying to paint WNYmedia blogger and Carl Paladino supporter Rus Thompson as a democrat:

Monday morning, Ricchiazzi blasted off an email to just about every local media email address he could harvest – even the kid who covers the online-bargain beat for the Channel 2 morning infotainment hour got an email. In it, (see it here in its entirety), Ricchiazzi pleases his new political ally – Ostrowski – by blasting Erie County Republican Party chairman Nick Langworthy for, among other things, endorsing “Democrat Rus Thompson”. (Ricchiazzi’s website is here).

Anyone who knows Rus, even if by name only, can tell you that despite his current BOE status, Rus is about the farthest thing from a Democrat out there.

When dropping out of last year’s mayoral race, Ricchiazzi wrote:

Let’s be honest–a 23 year old, openly bisexual, half-Indian, registered Republican running for Mayor of Buffalo was a long shot.

Like his self-described sexual orientation (not that there’s anything wrong with that), Ricchiazzi is just as undecided about his political affiliation.

Matthew Ricchiazzi was a registered Democrat for most, if not just about all his voting life (six years):

In January of 2009, before President Obama was even inaugurated, Ricchiazzi changed his party affiliation to Republican.

Yet in numerous interviews over the last two years, Ricchiazzi has claimed to be a fiscally conservative, socially liberal “Republican”. Know any of those?

Hell, I’m a bleeding-heart liberal, but also consider myself a fiscal conservative.  Do you know anyone on either side of the aisle that likes high taxes?

I digress.

In his attempt to run for Buffalo School Board and sometime in April 2010, the Erie County Board of Elections sent Ricchiazzi mail which came back undeliverable. At the time, it was discovered Ricchiazzi did not live at the address on Brinton Street he supplied:

Until this morning,  Ricchiazzi was considered an “inactive voter” by the Erie County Board of Elections. His voting record only tallied vote was in one Presidential Election back in 2004, which seems to also be the last time he was a legal resident of Erie County for the length of time needed to run for office.

After graduating from Sweet Home High School, Ricchiazzi attended Cornell University until 2008 and then Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, until a few weeks ago.

Obviously, it’s hard to be a full time student at Cornell and live in north Buffalo. Ricchiazzi’s Facebook status reveals that he was living in Tompkins County as recently as May 15th:

And back in March when he was coming “home to Buffalo Amherst” for spring break to collect petitions that would eventually be deemed invalid for the Buffalo School Board Election:

And in February when he was snowed in during an Ithaca snow storm:


Calls to the Tompkins County BOE confirm Ricchiazzi never registered at his most recent residence near Cornell University. When he filled out his Democrat -> Republican enrollment registration card in January 2009, he maintained his given address on Margaret Drive in Amherst, well outside the 60th Senate District.

Parts of the The NYS Public Officers law place a heavier burden on the residency of candidates as opposed to an average voter.  If challenged in court, Ricchiazzi would have a hard time confirming his residency in the 60th district for 12 consecutive months. Due to the district falling in both Erie and Niagara County, the issue would have to be brought before the State Board of Elections and to State Supreme court in Albany county.

Are we meant to believe that Mr. Ricchiazzi wants to go to Albany to be a legislator, yet cannot be bothered to properly register to vote? Cannot be bothered to vote at all in five years?  Are we meant to believe that he would well represent his prospective constituents, but cannot be bothered to meet (or research) the basic requirements to run for a particular public office?

While Jim Ostrowski denigrates his former allies, calling them “regular office seekers”, his coalition is busy endorsing a kid who in 2 years has run for 3 offices, doesn’t own a home, probably hasn’t paid a property or income tax, and who until today was not registered to vote, doesn’t vote, and quite possibly is now ineligible to run for the office he seeks to hold.

That’s not just sloppy.  It’s lazy and stupid.

A One-Point Action Plan

23 Sep

It’s easy to whine and cry, it’s easy to kick and scream. It’s hard to actually make genuine change.

Matthew Ricchiazzi, who is a registered Republican with good ideas and youthful energy, ran for Mayor of Buffalo. Being only 23 and a political newbie, he didn’t really have much of a chance of winning. His chances got even worse when the Buffalo Republican Party refused to back him, opting instead to “run” someone who has no intention of running.

Ricchiazzi got enough signatures to qualify on a custom-made party line, but forgot to submit a logo for the party, thus disqualifying him.

I’ll leave the argument about making ballot access easier in New York for another day. Ricchiazzi’s platform:

· Eliminate the Property Tax’s Investment Penalty
· Meaningful Reduction of the Extraordinary Tax Burden
· Aggressively Sell Buffalo Niagara to the World’s Most Promising Companies
· Issuance of Same Sex Marriage Licenses in Defiance of State Law
· High Quality Urban Planning and Urban Design
· Venture Capital Fund and the Robust Cultivation of High Growth Industries
· Mayoral Control of Buffalo Public Schools

Ricchiazzi sent this press release out yesterday, threatening to take over the Buffalo Republican Party. He’s got a point, and it’s not completely far-fetched. When the party is disappointing you, change the party leadership. Here’s what he sent out:

Let’s hijack the City’s Republican Party.

Let’s bring democracy and real elections back to Buffalo. We suffer from the incompetence and ineffectual leadership of a one-party machine that continues to squander our future. The smallness their thinking, the poverty of their ambition, and the pettiness of their politics cripples our City and pushes our potential to the wayside. But that’s due—in very large part—to a Republican Party that offers an unpalatable alternative with no agenda, nor even a candidate.

So let me make this admittedly radical proposal: let’s hijack the Republican Party, oust the current executive committee, and rewrite the Party’s agenda. Continue reading

Ricchiazzi Endorses Kearns

10 Sep

His statement/press release after the jump. (Update: for those of you who say “who’s Ricchiazzi”, click this link or this link.)

Continue reading

Matthew Ricchiazzi

27 Aug

Last week, I interviewed Buffalo Mayoral Candidate Matthew Ricchiazzi at our Niagara Street offices.


Matthew is a young guy who is clearly well-educated, bright, and possessed with the ignorance of youth. I don’t mean that derisively, the kid is audacious in what he believes and ignores obstacles put in place by those who disagree. I was impressed by his grasp of the issues and the thorough campaign platform he has constructed.

Matthew is running as an independent candidate after he was unable to secure the support of the Republican Party. I think that actually works out better for him in the long run as he can now be seen as what he is without the negative perception filter people in the city apply to the Republican Party.

The first few questions were about the lack of strategic vision laid out by the Democratic candidates in this election. It seems that Brown and Kearns are focused on provisioning of services rather than setting a big picture agenda for the city and region. It’s the smallness of our politics that hold us back and the lack of ambitious goals which ultimately results in us failing to move forward. Incremental improvements to previous failure is not a plan for success.

Ricchiazzi might be young and he might be politically inexperienced, but he’s the one candidate who is talking about the future and applying lessons learned in other emerging cities.

Clearly, I liked him, but I realize the enormity of the task in front of him in the general election. He is underfunded and lacks the organization behind him to run a traditional city-wide campaign and sophisticated GOTV effort.

Even if he fails to make a significant dent at the voting booth, he can become and advocate for positive change and introduce big picture ideas into our collective politics.

I’ll post the rest of the videos later as I want to discuss some of his ideas in-depth, but take a look at his plans and let me know what you think. It’s an interesting mix of tax reduction, market based strategies, urban planning, and traditional left wing issues of social/economic justice.

We’re scheduling interviews with Mickey Kearns and Byron Brown for next week to answer many of the same questions.

Mayoral Candidate Matthew Ricchiazzi

27 Aug

The WNYMedia.net interview is here, in three parts. Ricchiazzi might be young, but he’s not dumb. He’s energetic and frankly has better ideas coming out of his mouth than just about any other candidate for Mayor in recent memory. Check him out at www.changebuffalo.org.

Strategy & Platform:

Public Transit & Regionalism

The State of Local Politics & Ricchiazzi’s “Why Not?” Campaign

The Buffalo Mayoral "Race" 2009

7 Aug

I guess it’s time to start focusing on this “race” for Mayor given that primary day is about a month away. Artvoice did a piece on Mickey Kearns, indicating that he’s taking the gloves off in his criticism of the Brown Administration.

Paul Wolf writes:

In my opinion Mickey Kearns has dropped the ball in his campaign for Mayor by running a campaign that lacks bold ideas. Don’t tell me what you are against and what Brown has done wrong, tell me what you are for and what you are going to do as Mayor.

That’s true.  But bold ideas don’t win elections for mayor of the city of Buffalo.  Just look at the current and previous few occupants of that office.  Just ask someone like Kevin Gaughan. What wins that election is a careful tightrope walk, promising change to the progressives and maintenance of the status quo to entrenched interests. This way, everyone is equally disappointed.

But Paul is right.  Kearns’ mayoral platform reads like he’s running for town board of some small town somewhere.

If you haven’t yet, check out Matthew Ricchiazzi’s page.  He’s a young kid with little experience, but lots of good ideas.  I hope to hear more from him in the future.

(Image courtesy Flickr user outofcontxt)